HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources said no citations were given out by their DOCARE officers on the first day state parks were closed under the latest round of COVID restrictions.
But that doesn’t mean parks were completely empty.
DOCARE Supervisor John Silberstein said “Most people are paying attention. They realize that we’re all in this together and that the closures are necessary to prevent the large group gatherings that had become common on beaches and in parks across O’ahu.”
People who were seen inside the state parks were informed of the rules and promptly asked to leave. The DLNR provided the following list of patrol highlights:
- Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, no hikers visible, but four cars were parked along the highway, suggesting a few people snuck in.
- 10 kayakers warned early in the day by DOCARE officers after landing on Flat Island (Popoia) off Kailua Beach. Officers later spotted at least one additional kayaker who’d also landed on the tiny islet.
- Mokulua Islands off Lanikai Beach: Several people lounging on the beach were asked to leave.
- Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park: A group of teens fishing for crabs were advised to leave. A man resting in the park was also advised of the rules and left.
- No boats were visible at the Ahu o Laka sandbar in Kāneʻohe Bay. It’s believed rough ocean conditions may have contributed to this lack of activity.
- Five men, who’d walked to the beach at Mālaekahana State Recreation Area near Lāʻie, were asked to leave the park.
Public access to the parks and beaches are limited to crossing them only for the purpose of getting to the ocean for approved activities, the DLNR said.
“We hope over the next three weeks (the current duration of the closures), people will continue to abide by the rules and stay out of our State Parks and not loiter on the beach. We’re pleased we didn’t have to write any citations or arrest anyone. I think most people realize this is a small, temporary sacrifice to make for the overall health and safety of our entire community,” Silberstein added.